Summary Statement, 3rd Quarter, 1863 – Indiana’s batteries, Part 1

Indiana organized twenty-six independent batteries, which were mostly light batteries.  In addition, there was a regiment of heavy artillery.  Looking at the summaries for the third quarter, 1863, we find all twenty-six independent batteries and two of the heavies represented, along with two sections from cavalry regiments and one section from an infantry regiment:

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As with previous quarters, we’ll break this into parts for ease of discussion.  That said, the first twelve batteries are our focus here:

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Notice four batteries do not have returns.  Additionally, two returns are dated from 1864.  And we have an extra line at the bottom for “Detachment of 12th”.  Giving us thirteen lines to consider:

  • 1st Battery:  Reporting, on November 20, at New Iberia, Louisiana with four 12-pdr Napoleons and two 3-inch guns.  Captain Martin Klauss remained in command of this battery. With the realignments of divisions after the fall of Vicksburg, the battery’s parent formation became First Division, Thirteenth Corps.  The battery participated in the campaign against Jackson, Mississippi, in July.  Then it moved with the rest of the division to New Orleans, in August, to join the Department of the Gulf.  There, the battery was assigned to the District of La Fourche and supported the Teche Country expedition in October.   Lieutenant Lawrence Jacoby lead the battery while Klauss was absent during the fall.
  • 2nd Battery:  Reporting at Springfield, Missouri with two 6-pdr field guns and four 3.80-inch James Rifles. Captain John W. Rabb was the senior officer of the battery.  But that fall Rabb accepted a job in the reformed 2nd Missouri (Light) Artillery Regiment.  Lieutenant Hugh Espey, as mentioned in previous quarters, commanded this battery in the field.  The battery remained with the Department of Southwestern Missouri, and served in sections, with 1st and 2nd Sections under Lieutenant William W. Haines. After a hard season campaigning in Missouri, Arkansas, and Indian Territories, the battery move to the Department of the Frontier.
  • 3rd Battery: At Rolla, Missouri with two 6-pdr field guns, two 12-pdr Napoleons, and two 3.80-inch James rifles (as opposed to 3.67-inch rifles the previous quarter, which raises a question).  Captain James M. Cockefair remained in command of this battery.  The battery split duty between Rolla and St. Louis through the early fall, being assigned to the District of Rolla and later District of St. Louis.  In November, the battery reenlisted with “veteran” status.
  • 4th Battery:  At Chattanooga, Tennessee with two 12-pdr Napoleons, two 12-pdr field howitzers and one 3.80-inch James Rifles. The battery remained with First Division, Fourteenth Corps.  Lieutenant David Flansburg led this battery into action at Chickamauga, with “great coolness and bravery.”  But Flansburg was wounded and captured on September 19.  Lieutenant Henry J. Willits took his place.  In addition to their commander, the battery lost a James rifle, a caisson, three pistols, six sabers, and thirty-four horses in the battle.  While in prison, Flansburg was promoted to Captain, with September 30 as his date of rank. He was among the officers who escaped, from Libby Prison, Richmond, in February 1864, but was re-captured.  Flansburg would die in November of that year, still a prisoner, and is buried in Florence, South Carolina.
  • 5th Battery: No return.  The battery remained with First Division, Twentieth Corps.  Thus at the end of September, the battery was under siege in Chattanooga. At the start of September, Captain Peter Simonson was relieved of duties as division artillery chief and returned to his battery in time to lead it into battle at Chickamauga.  Heavily engaged, the battery fired 1,247 rounds.  Twice having to withdraw to resupply.  In the final tally, Simonson reported one killed, eight wounded, and one missing; and thirty horses lost.  Material losses included one 12-pdr Napoleon and one 3.80-inch James rifle, leaving the battery with one Napoleon and three James rifles. Reorganizations of the Army of the Cumberland would put the battery in Fourth Corps later in the fall.
  • 6th Battery: No report.  Going back to the first quarter’s returns, the battery had two 6-pdr field guns and two 3.80-inch James Rifles. After Vicksburg, the battery moved from Sixteenth Corps to Third Division, Fifteenth Corps. Captain Michael Mueller remained in command. Mueller’s battery was still around Vicksburg at the end of September.
  • 7th Battery: Reporting at Chattanooga, Tennessee, with two 12-pdr Napoleons and three (down from four) 10-pdr Parrotts. The battery supported Third Division, Twenty-First Corps.  Captain George R. Swallow remained in command, but also served as division artillery chief.  The battery expended all their canister in close action on September 19.  Then on September 20 was again heavily engaged.  As alluded to with the numbers, the battery lost a Parrott rifle in the battle.
  • 8th Battery: No return. Captain George Estep retained command of this battery, part of First Division, Twenty-First Corps.  The battery brought four 6-pdr field guns and two 12-pdr field howitzers into battle at Chickamauga.  The battery fought a bitter and close fight, suffering one killed, eight wounded and nine missing in the battle.  Furthermore, the battery lost all its cannon.  In October, the battery was assigned to Chattanooga’s garrison artillery and temporarily in charge of a pool of horses. By November, the battery maned Fort Jefferson C. Davis, with three 20-pdr Parrotts.
  • 9th Battery: No return. Lieutenant George R. Brown commanded this battery from Sixteenth Corps.  At the end of September, Brown’s battery was part of the garrison at Union City, Tennessee.
  • 10th Battery: Reporting at Chattanooga, Tennessee with two 12-pdr field howitzers and four 10-pdr Parrotts. Captain William A. Naylor (promoted in June) remained in command of this battery, assigned to First Division, Twenty-First Corps.  During the fighting at Chickamauga, the 10th was part of the force left behind to guard Chattanooga, and was thus not engaged in the battle.
  • 11th Battery: Also at Chattanooga, Tennessee, with four 12-pdr Napoleons.  Captain Arnold Sutermeister’s battery supported Third Division, Twentieth Corps. During the Federal route on September 20, the section with two 3-inch Ordnance Rifles was overwhelmed, having all their horses shot.  The battery lost three killed, twelve wounded, and four missing, and nineteen horses.  The battery expended 120 rounds.
  • 12th Battery: Reporting at Fort Negley, Nashville, Tennessee as siege artillery.  We know the battery had four 4.5-inch Ordnance siege rifles around this time.  Captain James E. White remained in command.  White also presided over the 20th Indiana battery, which was also stationed at Nashville.  However, see the next line….
  • Detachment of 12th Battery: At Fort Wood, Chattanooga, Tennessee. No other details offered.  Lieutenant James A. Dunwoody commanded a detachment, about half of the battery, dispatched to reinforce Chattanooga that fall.  They arrived in November.

Yes, several of these batteries could report hard fighting in tight places that September.  Let’s see how their ammunition reports stack up.  Starting with the smoothbore:

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Seven batteries reporting smoothbore ammunition on hand:

  • 1st Battery: 198 shell, 250 case, and 46 canister for 12-pdr Napoleons.
  • 2nd Battery: 193 shot, 175 case, and 71 canister for 6-pdr field guns.
  • 3rd Battery: 105 shot, 141 case, and 132 canister for 6-pdr field guns; 136 shot, 406 shell, 224 case, and 300 canister for 12-pdr Napoleons.
  • 4th Battery: 48 shot, 24 shell, 65 case, and 24 canister for 12-pdr Napoleons; 40 shell, 74 case, and 50 canister for 12-pdr field howitzers.
  • 7th Battery: 74 shot, 33 shell, 79 case, and 63 canister for 12-pdr Napoleons.
  • 10th Battery: 111 shell, 100 case, and 116 canister for 12-pdr field howitzers.
  • 11th Battery: 127 shot, 113 shell, 106 case, and 100 canister for 12-pdr Napoleons.

Turning to the Hotchkiss page of rifled projectiles:

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Three reporting:

  • 1st Battery: 46 canister, 31 percussion shell, and 160 fuse shell for 3-inch rifles.
  • 2nd Battery: 195 percussion shell, 217 fuse shell and 168 bullet shell for 3.80-inch James rifles.
  • 11th Battery: 80 canister, 100 fuse shell, and 120 bullet shell for 3-inch rifles.  Yes, the battery still had ammunition chests for the two rifles lost at Chickamauga.

The next page, we’ll break down into two sections.  First the remaining Hotchkiss columns and James projectiles:

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The last of the Hotchkiss projectiles:

  • 2nd Battery: 58 canister for 3.80-inch rifles.
  • 4th Battery: 2 canister for 3.80-inch rifles.

The the James projectiles:

  • 2nd Battery: 111 shot and 199 shell for 3.80-inch rifles.
  • 3rd Battery: 52 shot, 173 shell and 24 canister for 3.80-inch rifles.
  • 4th Battery: 4 shot for 3.80-inch rifles.

Then over to the Parrott side of the page:

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Two batteries reporting:

  • 7th Battery: 315 shell, 301 case, and 130 canister for 10-pdr Parrott.
  • 10th Battery: 369 shell, 274 case, and 106 canister for 10-pdr Parrott.

Then on to the Schenkl and Tatham’s columns:

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Two batteries reporting Schenkl:

  • 1st Battery: 174 shell for 3-inch rifles.
  • 4th Battery: 64 shell for 3.80-inch rifles.

And one for Tatham’s canister:

  • 4th Battery: 9 canister for 3.80-inch rifles.

Moving last to the small arms:

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By battery:

  • 1st Battery: Twenty-five cavalry sabers.
  • 2nd Battery: Seven rifled muskets of foreign manufacture, twenty-two Army revolvers, and Twenty-one cavalry sabers.
  • 3rd Battery: Four foreign rifled muskets, Four breechloading carbines, four Navy revolvers, and ten horse artillery sabers.
  • 4th Battery: Twenty-two Army revolvers and twenty horse artillery sabers.
  • 7th Battery: Two cavalry sabers and thirteen horse artillery sabers.
  • 10th Battery: Seventeen Army revolvers and twelve horse artillery sabers.
  • 11th Battery: Eight Army revolvers, eleven navy revolvers, and nine cavalry sabers.

Considering the service of these twelve batteries from Indiana, we find a fair cross section of western service.  Batteries campaigning in east Tennessee, along the Mississippi, and in the Indian Territories.  Also a sampling of field, garrison, and heavy battery service.  But the heavy hitting stories come from northern Georgia near a creek called Chickamuaga.   We see some of the ferocity of that battle reflected in the numbers – specifically batteries reporting fewer cannons and limited ammunition supplies, but likewise the absence of reports from the 5th, 8th and 9th Batteries.  And we can match those with the tally of losses, to include men and horses, from the official reports.

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Summary Statement, 3rd Quarter, 1863 – Independent and Miscellaneous Illinois Artillery

Looking at the artillery formations Illinois sent to war, there are over a dozen independent batteries or sections which we may discuss.  Some of these became batteries in the two artillery regiments.  Others remained independent throughout the war.  Famous independent batteries, I may add.

Looking at the third quarter, 1863, the summaries carried eight independent batteries and one artillery section.  However, the clerks at the Ordnance Department continued to carry one of those batteries under “3rd Illinois Artillery,” a formation that cannot be found in the final records.  Thus we have a split set to discuss in this installment:

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As discussed in previous quarters, we can identify Battery A, 3rd Illinois Artillery as Springfield Light Artillery, or Vaughn’s Battery (after Captain Thomas F. Vaughn).

The other batteries appear on the next page:

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Working from the top… of my snips, we start with that miss-identified battery and work down:

  • Battery A, 3rd Illinois / Springfield Light Artillery: At Little Rock, Arkansas with six 3.80-inch James rifles.  Captain Thomas F. Vaughn commanded this battery, which was assigned to the Sixteenth Corps.  As part of Steele’s Expedition to Little Rock, the battery got its first real taste of battle on September 10 at Bayou Fourche.  In that action, Vaughn reported firing 14 shot, 292 shell, and 8 canister over three hours.  The battery lost two men in the fight.
  • Stokes’ Battery / Chicago Board of Trade Battery: Reporting at Nashville, Tennessee with four 6-pdr field guns, two 12-pdr field howitzers, one 3-inch Ordnance Rifle, one rifled 6-pdr (3.67-inch), and two 3.80-inch James rifles.  At the end of September, this battery was, like most of the Army of the Cumberland, holding on at Chattanooga.  The battery was with the force holding the river crossings above the city.  By the time of the reporting date (November), the battery was posted near Huntsville, Alabama, having spent some of the intervening time supporting operations against Confederate cavalry raids.  The battery remained with Second Division, Cavalry Corps, Army of the Cumberland.  During the siege of Chattanooga, Captain James H. Stokes commanded Second Division of the Artillery Reserve, Army of the Cumberland (the “right batteries” in reports).   In his place, Lieutenant George Robinson led the battery, with more than it’s fair share of cannon!
  • Chicago Mercantile Battery: At Franklin, Louisiana with four 3-inch Ordnance rifles.  In the reorganizations after Vicksburg, this battery moved with parent formation to the Fourth Division, Thirteenth Corps, which was sent to the Department of the Gulf.  Captain Patrick H. White remained in command.
  • Elgin Battery: No return.  Assigned to the 23rd Corps, this battery participated in the Knoxville Campaign.  Captain George W. Renwick resigned in May 1863 and was replaced by Captain Andrew M. Wood.
  • Cogswell’s Battery: At Nashville, Tennessee with four 3.80-inch James rifles. This battery moved to Vicksburg in June as part of First Division, Sixteenth Corps.  In July, just after the fall of that city, the battery transferred to Fourth Division, Fifteenth Corps.  Thence transferring again to Seventh Division, Seventeenth Corps.  And that division later became Second Division of the corps.  Good thing corps badges were not used in the western theater at the time!  In late September the battery moved to Memphis as part of the force sent to reinforce Chattanooga.  The indicated location reflects the July 1864 reporting date. Though Captain William Cogswell remained in command of the battery, Lieutenant Henry G. Eddy appears to have led the battery in the field.
  • Henshaw’s Battery: Reporting from Loudon, Tennessee with four 6-pdr field guns and two 3.80-inch James rifles.  In September 1863, this battery was part of Twenty-third Corps and in the advance toward Knoxville.  So the Loudon location reflects a November reporting date. Captain Edward C. Henshaw commanded.
  • Bridges’ Battery: At Chattanooga, Tennessee with one 12-pdr Napoleon and three 3-inch Ordnance rifles.  Assigned to Second Division, Fourteenth Corps and under command of Captain Lyman Bridges.  Going into battle at Chickamauga, the battery boasted two Napoleons and four Ordnance rifles.  Posted on the morning September 20 astride the road near the McDonald House, the battery suffered heavily.  Six killed, twenty wounded, and four missing out of a command of 126.  Aside from the two guns (a Napoleon and an Ordnance rifle) the battery lost 46 horses, three limbers, one caisson, and much equipment.  Bridges would, rightfully in my view, complain of lacking infantry support.  The battery pulled four of its guns off the field and moved to Snodgrass Hill.   Bridges would later pull four guns,  abandoned by other batteries, off the field.  The position of Bridges’ desperate fight on the morning of the 20th is marked today:

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  • Colvin’s Battery: “In the field, Tennessee” with two 3-inch Ordnance rifles and two 10-pdr Parrotts. Overlooked in the previous quarter, this battery was assigned to Twenty-Third Corps, and, as of the end of September, was part of the force in East Tennessee aimed at Knoxville.  Captain John H. Colvin commanded.
  • 14th Cavalry, Artillery Section:  No location given, with four 12-pdr mountain howitzers. The 14th Illinois Cavalry was part of Twenty-third Corps at this time of the war and participated in the advance on Knoxville.  The regiment, under Colonel Horace Capron, retained a section of mountain howitzers, led by Lieutenant Henry Clay Connelly.

Taken with the service details of the 1st and 2nd Regiments, we see almost all the Illinois artillerymen were serving in the Western Theater at this time of the war.

Moving to the ammunition reported, let us take this in blocks with the Springfield Light Artillery getting the lead position.  That battery reported no smoothbore ammunition. But did have some Hotchkiss rounds:

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  • Springfield Battery: 274 Hotchkiss percussion shell for 3.80-inch rifles..

More Hotchkiss appear on the next page along with James patent projectiles:

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  • Springfield Battery: 172 Hotchkiss canister; 236 James shot, 212 James Shells, and 30 James canister, all for 3.80-inch rifles.

And more canister on the last page of projectiles:

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  • Springfield Battery: 36 Tatham’s canister for 3.80-inch rifles.

Turning to the other independent batteries, we look back to the smoothbore:

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  • Chicago Board of Trade Battery: 173 shot, 283 case, and 244 canister for 6-pdr field guns.
  • Henshaw’s Battery: 286 shot, 315 case, and 138 canister for 6-pdr field guns.
  • Bridges’ Battery: 4 shot, 148 shell, and 34 case for 12-pdr Napoleons.  No canister.
  • 14th Illinois Cavalry: 108 shell, 576 case, and 60 canister for 12-pdr mountain howitzers.

Advancing to the Hotchkiss columns:

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  • Chicago Board of Trade Battery: 7 shot and 30 percussion shell for 3.80-inch James.
  • Chicago Mercantile Battery: 90 canister, 195 percussion shell,  201 fuse shell, and 281 bullet shell for 3-inch rifles.
  • Cogswell’s Battery: 170 percussion shell for 3.80-inch James.
  • Henshaw’s Battery: 95 percussion shell and 80 fuse shell for 3.80-inch James.
  • Bridges’ Battery: 66 canister, 130 percussion shell, 186 fuse shell, and 163 bullet shell for 3-inch rifles.
  • Colvin’s Battery: 38 canister, 50 percussion shell, and 160 fuse shell for 3-inch rifles.

We have more Hotchkiss on the next page along with James and Parrott rounds:

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Hotchkiss:

  • Chicago Board of Trade Battery: 33 cansiter for 3.80-inch rifles.

James:

  • Chicago Board of Trade Battery: 33 shot and 45 shell for 3.80-inch rifles.
  • Cogswell’s Battery: 31 shot, 247 shell, and 109 canister for 3.80-inch rifles.

Parrott:

  • Colvin’s Battery: 165 case for 10-pdr Parrott.

Both Schenkl and Tatham’s on the last page of projectiles:

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Schenkl:

  • Chicago Board of Trade Battery: 219 shell for 3.80-inch rifles.
  • Henshaw’s Battery: 66 shell for 3.80-inch rifles.
  • Colvin’s Battery: 23 case for 10-pdr Parrott.

Tathams:

  • Cogswell’s Battery: 149 canister for 3.80-inch rifles.

Finally to the small arms, we can “bounce” these in one listing from two snips:

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And….

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By battery:

  • Springfield Battery: Ten horse artillery sabers.
  • Chicago Board of Trade Battery: Two Army revolvers, 133 Navy revolvers, eight cavalry sabers, and twenty horse artillery sabers.
  • Chicago Mercantile Battery: One Army revolver and four horse artillery sabers.
  • Cogswell’s Battery: Two Army revolvers and two cavalry sabers.
  • Henshaw’s Battery: Eighteen Army revolvers and sixteen horse artillery sabers.
  • Bridges’ Battery: Ten Army revolvers, fifteen cavalry sabers, and five horse artillery sabers.
  • Colvin’s Battery: Two Navy revolvers and eight cavalry sabers.
  • 14th Illinois Cavalry Section: Six rifled muskets (foreign manufacture) and thirty-one Army revolvers.

Consider here the story of Bridges’ Battery at Chickamuaga.  I think we see some of that story reflected in the numbers reported for the returns.  Certainly we see the reduction of the number of guns reported.  Ammunition might be replenished, but I’d advance the quantities were still low for the battery (as resupply of Chattanooga was desperate until late November).  Though the small arms quantities look average for a field battery, I’d bet many of those men who survived September 20, 1863 would “acquire” more – officially or unofficially.

Summary Statement, 3rd Quarter, 1863 – 2nd Illinois Artillery Regiment

Before the war, Thomas Scott Mather was the state Adjutant General, where he demonstrated good organizational and administrative skills.  During the first fall of the war, Mather accepted the colonelcy of the 2nd Illinois Artillery.  As with most field artillery regiments, the 2nd never marched as a whole.  And thus the position of regimental commander was more so an administrative post.  But the rank gave Mather the ability to serve in other capacities.  For a time he was Chief of Staff for General John McClernand.  Later Mather served as the Inspector General for the Department of the Susquehanna.  For this “faithful and meritorious services” Mather received a brevet to brigadier-general at war’s end.

For the third quarter of 1863, Mather’s batteries appeared as such on the summaries:

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A “western theater” regiment:

  • Battery A:  No report. The battery remained with Fourteenth (or First, after reconciliation) Division, Thirteenth Corps.  When Captain Peter Davidson promoted to major in the spring, Lieutenant Herman Borris, promoted to captain that April, moved up to command the battery (though Lieutenant Frank B. Fenton lead the battery during the Vicksburg Campaign).  The battery remained with the division as the corps was transferred to the Department of the Gulf.  At the end of September, the battery was at Carrollton, Louisiana.
  • Battery B: Indicated at Fort Donelson, Tennessee with four 3.80-inch James rifles. The location reported is possibly a transcription error, and should be applied to Battery C (below) along with the four James rifles.  Captain Fletcher H. Chapman commanded.  Champman’s battery remained part of the Sixteenth Corps and assigned to the District of Corinth.
  • Battery C: No report.  Captain James P. Flood’s battery remained at At Fort Donelson, Tennessee with four 3.80-inch James Rifles, assigned to the Third Division, Reserve Corps, Army of the Cumberland.
  • Battery D: Indicated at Memphis, Tennessee with four 3.80-inch James Rifles. Captain Charles S. Cooper remained in command of this battery, assigned to First Division, Sixteenth Corps, covering Memphis at the time.
  • Battery E: Reported at Carrollton, Louisiana with three 6-pdr field guns and one 12-pdr field howitzer.  After Vicksburg, Lieutenant George L. Nipsel’s battery transferred to Third Division, Thirteenth Corps, which was subsequently assigned to the Department of the Gulf.
  • Battery F: Indicated at Natchez, Mississippi with two 6-pdr field guns and two 12-pdr field howitzers.  The battery was assigned to Fourth Division, Seventeenth Corps in the post-Vicksburg reorganizations. Captain John W. Powell remained in command, but with him serving as division artillery chief, Lieutenant Walter H Powell led the battery.
  • Battery G: At Vicksburg, Mississippi with four rifled 6-pdr guns. Captain Frederick Sparrestrom commanded this battery, assigned to Third Division, Sixteenth Corps.
  • Battery H: Reporting at Clarksville, Tennessee  two 6-pdr field guns and four 3.80-inch James Rifles. Captain Henry C. Whittemore assumed command of the battery at the end of June.  Battery assigned to Third Division, Reserve Corps, Army of the Cumberland, and performing garrison and escort duties.
  • Battery I:  Under siege at Chattanooga, Tennessee with two 12-pdr Napoleons, two 10-pdr Parrotts, and two 3.80-inch James Rifles.  Captain Charles M. Barnett commanded this battery.  It was assigned to Second Division, Reserve Corps, Army of the Cumberland.
  • Battery K: No report.  This battery, under Captain Benjamin F. Rodgers, had been with Seventeenth Corps at the start of the year.  It transferred to the Sixteenth Corps when serving at Vicksburg.  And after that siege, transferred to the Thirteenth Corps (Fourth Division).   At this time, the battery was on garrison duties at Natchez.
  • Battery L: Listed at Vicksburg with four 3.80-inch James Rifles. Part of Third Division, Seventeenth Corps.  Captain William H. Bolton commanded.
  • Battery M: Reporting at Greeneville, Tennesse with four 3.80-inch James Rifles.  Captain John C. Phillips command this battery, which assigned to Fourth Division, Twenty-third Corps, Army of the Ohio.

Tennessee, Mississippi, and Louisiana – but varied service and duties.

Looking to the smoothbore ammunition reported:

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Four batteries reporting:

  • Battery E: 204 shot, 164 case, and 203 canister for 6-pdr field guns; 34 shell, 60 case, and 34 canister for 12-pdr field howitzers.
  • Battery F: 184 shot, 135 case, and 28 canister for 6-pdr field guns; 120 shell, 133 case, and 31 canister for 12-pdr field howitzers.
  • Battery H: 176 shot, 150 case, and 42 canister for 6-pdr filed guns.
  • Battery I: 43 shot, 52 shell, 95 case, and 90 canister for 12-pdr Napoleons.

Moving to the rifled projectiles, the Hotchkiss are first:

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No 3-inch Ordnance rifles, but a scattering of rounds for the 3.80-inch and 3.67-inch rifles:

  • Battery B: 100(?) shot, 430 percussion shell, and 68 fuse shell for 3.80-inch James.
  • Battery G:  110 percussion shell and 955 fuse shell for 3.67-inch (6-pdr) rifles.
  • Battery I: 46 shot and 108(?) bullet shell for 3.80-inch James.
  • Battery L: 161 percussion shell and 123 fuse shell for 3.80-inch James.
  • Battery M: 40 shot, 50 percussion shell, 240 fuse shell, and 150 bullet shell for 3.80-inch James.

Let us break the next page down into sections for clarity.  Starting with a pair of Hotchkiss columns carried over to that page:

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  • Battery B: 250 canister for 3.80-inch James.
  • Battery G: 100 canister 3.67-inch (6-pdr) rifles.
  • Battery L: 60 canister for 3.80-inch James.
  • Battery M: 55 canister for 3.80-inch James.

As expected, many entries for the James projectiles:

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  • Battery B: 24 shell and 2 canister for 3.80-inch James.
  • Battery D: 45 shot, 203 shell, and 60 canister for 3.80-inch James.
  • Battery H: 115 shot, 252 shell, and 214 canister for 3.80-inch James.
  • Battery I: 108 canister for 3.80-inch James.
  • Battery L: 128 shell and 128 canister for 3.80-inch James.

We have only one battery with Parrott rifles:

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  • Battery I: 27 shot, 131 shell, 185 case, and 64 canister for 10-pdr Parrotts.

The last page of the rifled projectiles contains columns for Schenkl and Tatham:

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Two batteries with quantities of Schenkl to report:

  • Battery D: 64 shot, 128 shell and 64 case for 3.80-inch James.
  • Battery I: 42 shell for 3.80-inch James.

But over to the far right is one line for Tatham’s canister:

  • Battery H: 32 canister for 3.80-inch James.

Lastly, we turn to the small arms:

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By battery:

  • Battery B: Five (?) Army revolvers, nine Navy revolvers, four cavalry sabers, and six (?) horse artillery sabers.
  • Battery E: Eight Army revolvers, twenty-four cavalry sabers, and forty foot artillery swords.
  • Battery F: Twenty-two Army revolvers and twelve cavalry sabers.
  • Battery H: Fifty-four Navy revolvers and seven cavalry sabers.
  • Battery I: Seven Army revolvers, twenty-three Navy revolvers and thirty horse artillery sabers.
  • Battery M: Twenty Army revolvers and twenty horse artillery sabers.

That concludes our look at the 2nd Illinois Artillery and their third quarter, 1863 returns.  Next are the independent batteries and “others” from Illinois.

Summary Statement, 3rd Quarter, 1863 – 1st Illinois Artillery Regiment

If we just focus on the service of individual batteries from the 1st Illinois Artillery Regiment, we’d have a noteworthy and eventful narrative of service in some of the war’s great battles.  But the regiment’s contribution to the Federal war effort included some important and influential senior officers.  The regiment’s first commander was Colonel Joseph D. Webster, a regular Army officer, having resigned in 1854, and Mexican War veteran.  Webster served both as commander of the regiment and as General Grant’s chief of staff through the first year of the war – and through many of those early western theater campaigns.  After November 1862, Webster took a staff position managing transportation for Grant.  And later in the war, he would serve as Major-General William T. Sherman’s chief of staff.  With a promotion to brigadier-general in April 1863, Webster relinquished command of the 1st Illinois.

Ezra Taylor, with promotion from major to colonel, succeeded Webster in command.  But like many of the light artillery regimental commanders, Taylor did not directly command these subordinate batteries.  Rather, in relation to the batteries, the regimental command was more an administrative head than actual field command.  Instead, Taylor served as an artillery chief at divisional, corps, and army level.  While in command of the 1st Illinois in the fall of 1863, Taylor was also Sherman’s chief of artillery (Fifteenth Corps).  Later in the winter, Taylor became the artillery chief of the Army of the Tennessee. However, Taylor’s active service came to an end after a serious wound at the battle of Dallas, on May 28, 1864.

But all of that was in the future at the end of September 1863, and the returns of the 1st Illinois were still the responsibility, administratively speaking, of Colonel Taylor.  How well did he attend those details?

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We find returns for eleven of twelve batteries.  But that is a little deceptive, with three of those returns not received until 1864.  And one that was nearly two years late, arriving in 1865!  But at least that leaves us numbers to consider:

  • Battery A: Larkinsville, Alabama, with five 12-pdr Napoleons and one 10-pdr Parrott.  That is where the battery wintered in 1864, when the report was received at the Department.  In September 1863 the battery was still assigned to Second Division, Fifteenth Army Corps, with Captain Peter P. Wood in command.  After the fall of Vicksburg, the battery was part of the force sent to Jackson.  Then in late September, with the Fifteenth Corps sent to reinforce the beleaguered Army of the Cumberland, Battery A was en route to Memphis, Tennessee.
  • Battery B: On the steamer Atlantic, in the Mississippi River, with five 6-pdr field guns and one 12-pdr field howitzer. Like Battery A, this battery was also assigned to Second Division, Fifteenth Corps.  And Battery B was also heading to Memphis at the end of September, with ultimate destination of Chattanooga.  Captain Samuel E. Barrett received promotion to Major in August 1863.  Lieutenant Israel P. Rumsey was promoted to captain of the battery, with date of rank as August 13, 1863.
  • Battery C:  Reporting at Chattanooga, Tennessee with one 12-pdr field howitzers (down from three the previous quarter) and two 3-inch Ordnance Rifles (down from four). The quantities reflected losses at Chickamauga, which also included a caisson and twelve horses.  Four of the battery were wounded.  Captain Mark H. Prescott returned in time to assume command from Lieutenant Edward M. Wright (who resigned on September 9), and lead it in the battle.  Remarkably, the battery only expended nineteen rounds at Chickamauga.  The battery remained with Third Division, Twentieth Corps.
  • Battery D: At Vicksburg, Mississippi with four 3-inch Ordnance Rifles, having turned in 24-pdr field howitzers. The battery was assigned to Third Division, Seventeenth Corps, and part of the occupation force at Vicksburg.   Lieutenant George P. Cunningham remained in command, though would not be promoted to captain until December 1864.
  • Battery E: Reported at Oak Ridge, Mississippi, (about half way between Vicksburg and the Big Black River) with five 12-pdr Napoleons and one 3.80-inch James Rifle.  Lieutenant John A. Fitch remained in command, and the battery remained under Third Division, Fifteenth Corps.
  • Battery F: No report. Captain John T. Cheney remained in command of this battery.  With reorganizations after the fall of Vicksburg, the battery moved from First Division, Sixteenth Corps to Fourth Division, Fifteenth Corps, and supported the move on Jackson. At the end of September, Battery F, like the rest of the Fifteenth Corps, moved to Memphis by boat and then started the march to Chattanooga.
  • Battery G:   Serving as siege artillery at Corinth, Mississippi, in Second Division, Sixteenth Corps.  Captain Raphael G. Rombauer remained in command.
  • Battery H: At Vicksburg with four 20-pdr Parrotts.  Assigned to Second Division, Fifteenth Corps, Lieutenant Francis DeGress remained in command of this battery (he would receive promotion to captain in December).  At the end of September, the battery was in transit to Memphis to stage for the relief of Chattanooga.
  • Battery I: Also at Vicksburg, but with four 3.80-inch James Rifles. The battery transferred from the Sixteenth Corps to Fourth Division, Fifteenth Corps after the fall of Vicksburg.  After the siege of Jackson, the battery was assigned a positino on the Big Black River. Lieutenant William N. Lansing, then the commander, accepted a commission in the 2nd Tennessee Colored Heavy Artillery.  His replacement was Captain Albert Cudney.  Like the other Fifteenth Corps batteries, Battery I was in transit to Memphis at the end of September.
  • Battery K: Memphis, Tennessee with with ten Union Repeating Guns.  But as noted earlier, that column was likely being utilized by the clerks to track Woodruff guns. Captain Jason B. Smith resumed command.  As many will recall, the battery accompanied Colonel Benjamin Grierson’s raid in April-May, and then operated as part of the Nineteenth Corps.  At the end of July the battery moved back to Memphis and was assigned a post near Germantown, in the Sixteenth Corps.
  • Battery L: In Washington, D.C., with two 12-pdr Napoleons and four 3.80-inch James Rifles. Captain John Rourke commanded this battery, assigned to Eighth Corps. The location given for the return is in question.  This battery was still in West Virginia through the fall and winter of 1863.
  • Battery M:  Reporting at Chattanooga, Tennessee with four 12-pdr Napoleons and two 3-inch Ordnance Rifles. Lieutenant George W. Spencer commanded this battery, assigned to the Second Division, Reserve Corps, Army of the Cumberland.

If we could summarize the service of the 1st Illinois Artillery at this stage of the war, the key word would be “Chattanooga” with the majority of batteries either holding that beleaguered city or part of the relief sent.

Moving to the ammunition columns, we have a lot to discuss with the smoothbore:

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Yes, extended columns here:

  • Battery A: 224 shot, 88 shell, 258 case, and 90(?) canister for 12-pdr Napoleons.
  • Battery B: 454 shot, 420 case, and 121 canister for 6-pdr field guns; 60 shell, 35 case, and 12 canister for 12-pdr field howitzers.
  • Battery C: 42 case for 6-pdr field guns; 190 shell, 245 case, and 80 canister for 12-field howitzers.
  • Battery D: 177(?) shell for 12-pdr Napoleons; 128 case and 24 canister for 24-pdr field howitzers.
  • Battery E: 43 shot, 119 shell, 246 case, and 158 canister for 12-pdr Napoleons.
  • Battery L:  70 shot and 504 case for 6-pdr field guns; 519 shot, 639 case, and 923 canister for 12-pdr Napoleons; 189 shell, 48 case, and 25 canister for 12-pdr field howitzers.
  • Battery M: 59 shot, 156 shell, 195 case, and 48 canister for 12-pdr Napoleons.

Referring back to the quantities reported in the previous quarter, the anomalies with Battery C (6-pdr ammunition) and Battery L (6-pdr and 12-pdr howitzer) persisted.  Battery D switched from 24-pdr field howitzers to 6-pdr rifles during the summer months, and apparently was still turning in ammunition for their old howitzers.

Turning to the rifled columns, Hotchkiss are first:

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Four batteries reporting:

  • Battery C: 149 canister, 244 percussion shell, 189 fuse shell, and 301 bullet shell for 3-inch rifles.
  • Battery E: 17 percussion shell and 93 fuse shell for 3.80-inch James Rifles.
  • Battery L: 504 canister, 115 percussion shell, and 1005 fuse shell for 3-inch rifles; 186 shot, 144 fuse shell, and 233 bullet shell for 3.80-inch rifles.
  • Battery M: 70 canister, 32 fuse shell, and 259 bullet shell for 3-inch rifles.

Continuing speculation from previous quarters, I suspect Battery L was charged with maintaining a store of ammunition for their brigade, explaining the presence of 3-inch rifle rounds.

Turning to the next page, we’ll break these down for clarity.  One stray Hotchkiss column:

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  • Battery H: 49 canister for 3.67-inch rifles (20-pdr Parrotts).

Further to the right, one entry for Dyer’s patent:

  • Battery L: 880 shrapnel for 3-inch rifles.

Moving to the James columns:

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Three batteries reporting:

  • Battery E: 50 canister for 3.80-inch rifles.
  • Battery I: 64 shot, 214 shell, and 256 canister for 3.80-inch rifles.
  • Battery L: 387 shot, 106 shell, and 19 canister for 3.80-inch rifles.

Two batteries with Parrotts:

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And two batteries reporting Parrott rounds:

  • Battery A: 145 shell, 6 case, and 16 canister for 10-pdr Parrott.
  • Battery H: 240 shell and 96 case for 20-pdr Parrott.

The next page we have a couple of lines reporting Schenkl and Tatham projectiles:

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Schenkl first:

  • Battery L: 300 shell for 3-inch rifles; 282 shell for 3.80-inch rifles.

Tatham canister:

  • Battery H: 40 canister for 3.67-inch (20-pdr Parrott) rifles.
  • Battery L: 268 canister for 3.80-inch rifles.

Lastly, the small arms reported:

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By battery:

  • Battery A: Three Army revolvers, thirty Navy revolvers, and four (?) horse artillery sabers.
  • Battery B: Sixteen Navy revolvers and two cavalry sabers.
  • Battery C: Seven Army revolvers, ten Navy revolvers, and ten cavalry sabers.
  • Battery D: Fifteen cavalry sabers.
  • Battery E: Two cavalry sabers.
  • Battery I: Eleven Navy revolvers and three cavalry sabers.
  • Battery K: Sixteen breechloading carbines and ninty-five (?) cavalry sabers.
  • Battery L: Seventeen breechloading carbines, twenty-eight Army revolvers, and 148 horse artillery sabers.

Very little attrition or loss among the small arms.  Then again, I suspect we don’t have a full report.  Perhaps only what the “federal government” had issued, not counting private purchase or that issued by the state.

We’ll move forward to the 2nd Illinois Artillery in the next installment.

 

Summary Statement, 3rd Quarter, 1863 – Delaware’s Batteries

Yes, Delaware’s batteries.  Plural.

In past quarters, we’ve looked at one lone entry line for Delaware.  That being Captain Benjamin Nields’ battery, often cited as the 1st Delaware Battery.  And that was it, so far as field batteries are concerned.  But the state also provided a company and a half … yes a half-company… of heavy artillery.  While that half-company’s service was so brief as to escape the need for an ordnance return, the other company was allocated a line for the third quarter of 1863:

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Two lines, but let us add that half-battery here for complete coverage:

  • 1st Battery: Reporting at Camp Barry, District of Columbia, with six 3-inch Ordnance Rifles.  As mentioned above, Captain Benjamin Nields commanded.  The battery returned to Washington around the first week of July (after duty with the Seventh Corps on the Peninsula).  But no time to rest!  With the Draft Riots in New York, Nields’ battery was ordered to that city, where they fell under Brigadier-General Edward Canby’s command.  Among the last details of this detached service was a posting to Kingston, New York, on September 5, were a draft was being conducted.  By September 12, the battery was headed back to Washington and the training grounds of Camp Barry.
  • Ahl’s Independent Heavy Battery: Reporting only infantry stores.  In late July, 1st Lieutenant George W. Ahl left Pennsylvania Independent Battery G, then stationed at Fort Delaware, to become captain and commander of a new independent battery formed from former Confederates and Irish immigrants.  Designated Ahl’s Independent Heavy Battery, and allocated to Delaware, it began organization in mid-July.  Formally mustered on July 27, the battery’s assignment was Fort Delaware.  The men of Ahl’s spent little time with the fort’s armament of heavy Rodman guns. Rather, they served almost exclusively as prison guards.  Former Confederates, who’d “swallowed the dog” serving watch over Confederate prisoners…. what could go wrong?
  • Crossley’s Half-Company of Artillery: Not listed.  With Lee’s invasion of Pennsylvania in June 1863, Delaware mustered several emergency formations, just as other northern states did.  As far as artillery is concerned, they only had enough for half a battery.  And 1st Lieutenant Thomas Crossley commanded.  Crossley’s half-battery mustered on June 29, 1863 with three month terms.  Their duty was mostly along the railroad between Philadelphia, Wilmington, and Baltimore, replacing other units had moved to more vital and threatened points.  They mustered out on September 30.  In some organizational reports, Crossley’s is mentioned as the Delaware Emergency Troops, or Battery.  And in some correspondence, the battery is mentioned as the 2nd Delaware Battery.

There are no smoothbore cannon reported, so we can skip that page of the ammunition details.  Moving on to the Hotchkiss columns:

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Just Nield’s guns:

  • 1st Battery: 142 canister, 299 percussion shell, 3 fuse shell, and 172 bullet shell for 3-inch rifles.

No Dyer, James, or Parrott projectiles reported.  So we move to the Schenkl section:

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Again, Nields’ reporting:

  • 1st Battery: 494 case shot for 3-inch rifles (for that column header, canister is struck and case written in).

Lastly, the small arms:

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Presumably Ahl’s muskets were carried on an infantry ordnance return.  So again all we see are Nields’:

  • 1st Battery: Thirty Army revolvers and thirty-eight horse artillery sabers.

Before closing out this installment, let’s look a bit closer at Ahl’s Battery.  There is much of interest beyond those administrative details.  First off, George Washington Ahl was a proud descendant of a Revolutionary War veteran, from Massachusetts.  Before the war, he lived in Allegheny County, just outside Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, where he worked as a clerk. Married to Sarah Eleanor Hay Ahl, the couple had a young son on the 1860 census.  As mentioned above, Ahl received a commission in Pennsylvania Independent Battery G.  And in July received promotion to Captain in command of his own battery.

Through the rest of the war Ahl was in practice the prison commander at Fort Delaware.  Brigadier-General Albin Francisco Schoepf was in overall command, but gave his adjutant, Ahl, control over the operations.  With Confederate defeats in Mississippi and Pennsylvania, the prison population swelled.

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Over time, the prison population swelled to over 11,500.  All on little Pea Patch Island.  And those prisoners didn’t have nice things to say about Ahl.  According to Brian Temple, in “The Union Prison at Fort Delaware: A Perfect Hell on Earth,” prisoners referred to George as “Ahl-fired mean” and “Ape Ahl.”  Though not exactly a healthy and pleasant experience, Fort Delaware was at least not the worst. Still, it was not a comfortable place for a prisoner.

On the other hand, a photo on file with the Delaware Historical Society Collections tells us Ahl’s wartime service was rather comfortable:

Ahl_Fort_Delaware

Ahl is third from the left.  Among the thirteen men identified, several are battery commanders mentioned in earlier posts about Fort Delaware – particularly Captains Stanislaus Mlotkowski and John Jay Young (Pennsylvania Independent Batteries A and G, respectively).  But on the back we read “Mamma was with him.”  Presumably indicating Sarah accompanied her husband to his wartime post.

The complement of Ahl’s command was not your normal Civil War battery muster.  Practically every entry in the Compiled Service Records offer intriguing stories.  A few to mention:

  • Private Jasper M. Barker: From Randolph County, North Carolina.  He joined Company F, 2nd North Carolina Battalion when the war broke out.  He was captured on Roanoke Island in February 1862, but paroled shortly after.  Remained with the regiment until the Gettysburg Campaign.  Falling ill, he was left behind at Shippensburg, Pennsylvania and captured.  A few weeks later, on July 27, 1863, he enlisted in Ahl’s Battery.  The book has him at five-feet, 11 ¼ inches tall; light complexion; blue eyes; light hair; and nineteen when joining the US service.
  • Private Reuben Barnes: When joining Ahl’s Battery in July 1863, Barnes was nineteen.  He hailed from Tyrell County, North Carolina.  He spent some time hospitalized for various ailments.  Barnes came north in June with company G, 1st North Carolina Infantry.  He was captured at Gettysburg on July 5 (there is an odd note on one of his cards stating “we failed to locate him” by . Sent to Fort Delaware, he obviously determined to make the best of the situation.  Barnes received the remaining $25 for bounty when mustering out on July 25, 1865.
  • Private John Bates: A farmer from Clinton, Missouri, Bates was a member of the Missouri State Guard (Company D, 2nd Cavalry, 8th Division) when the war started.  In June 1862, at age 18, he joined Company E, 4th Missouri Infantry.  All told, he saw action at Pea Ridge, Farmington, Iuka, Corinth, Hatchie Bridge, Port Gibson, and Grand Gulf.  He was wounded and captured at Champion’s Hill on May 16, 1863.  His Federal enlistment, dated like the others as July 27, has him at five feet, nine inches, hazel eyes, and light hair.  In May, 1864, Bates was entrusted to a detail escorting prisoners to Dry Tortugas (indicating he was deemed more loyal than the other Confederates, perhaps).  On July 25, 1865, he mustered out receiving $16.36 in back pay and $25 toward his bounty.  While I cannot say for sure, there is evidence Bates returned to Missouri after the war.
  • Private John Grady:  Born in Tipperary, Ireland. Age 38 when enlisting on July 27, 1863.  Grady escorted some prisoners to Fort Monroe in the summer of 1864.  Returning through Baltimore on August 9, he deserted.  He is among several who deserted while on similar escort duties.
  • Private Cornelius Layhan: A 24-year old, blue-eyed farmer from Cork, Ireland. Enlisted when the battery first formed.  Served as a cook and orderly when not on guard duty.   Escorted prisoners to Dry Tortugas in the spring of 1864.  Mustered out in July 1865, receiving $25 left on his bounty.
  • Private J.M. McDouaugh: Aged forty when enlisting in Ahl’s Battery, McDouaugh was from Sligo County, Ireland. McDouaugh also served on a detail taking prisoners to Dry Tortugas in the spring of 1864.  When mustered out, he received $28.06 in pay along with his bounty.
  • Private John Vaughn:  A short, 21-year old, blue-eyed and blond haired farmer from Jackson County, Alabama.  Vaughn was captured at Champion’s Hill on May 17, 1863.  Not entirely clear which regiment he was from.  He enlisted on July 27 for three years “or the war” with rank of corporal.  But he was reduced to private the following month.  Lost a bayonet the following year, for which he paid the government.  But he mustered out in July 1865 and collected his bounty.
  • James Waddington: At age 31 and hailing from Lancanshire, England, Waddington’s enlistment was a bit different than the others mentioned here.  He joined for a one year hitch starting in January 1865.  He was a cotton spinner by trade.  And his enlistment was credited to a ward in Philadelphia, leading me to wonder if this was some means to escape the draft.  He was discharged, with the rest, on July 25, 1865, and received $33.33 due on his bounty.

Certainly not the familiar stories for artillery service during the war.  But Ahl’s men received credit for service just the same.  One has to wonder how their post-war lives worked out.

Summary Statement, 3rd Quarter, 1863 – California Artillery Sections

The next set of lines in the summary for the third quarter, 1863 are for California.  And that’s what we look at in this week’s installment. Rather serendipitous, the Civil War Trust is featuring California’s Civil War history in a series of Facebook Live events later this week.  So let’s call it California Civil War week!

It’s the handful of cannons reported by California which interest us here.  In the previous quarter’s entries, California had a line hidden under Connecticut’s entries and another pair of lines under a “Miscellaneous” heading.   None of these were for an artillery battery, but rather for detachments or sections detailed from infantry or cavalry regiments.  And we like this, as it demonstrates that the state did indeed have some sort of artillery – limited in number – in use.  Furthermore, these entries in the summary help shed light on what is otherwise an overlooked and obscure element of artillery history.

Consolidate, those three lines were:

  • A section from what was probably the 2nd California Cavalry with one 12-pdr mountain howitzer.
  • Company H, 3rd California Infantry had a section armed with a 12-pdr mountain howitzer.
  • A section with a 6-pdr field gun reported as assigned to the 3rd California Infantry.

For the third quarter, California got its due heading:

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And all three lines are in one place this time.  But these are not clean matches to the records from three months earlier.  Some artillery has moved around, organizationally and geographically:

  • 1st California Cavalry:  At Camp Union, near Sacramento, California with artillery stores and a 6-pdr field gun.
  • 2nd California Cavalry (?): At Fort Lyon, California with a 12-pdr mountain howitzer.  I put a question here, as the entry uses dittos, which I read as “cavalry”, but there are issues with the identification of the 2nd Cavalry for this location.
  • Company F, 2nd California Infantry: At Fort Wright with a 12-pdr mountain howitzer.

These three cannon were supplied with ammunition, of course:

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  • 1st Cavalry: 91 shot, 61 case, and 66 canister for 6-pdr field gun.
  • 2nd Cavalry(?): 24 shell, 24 case, and 24 canister for 12-pdr mountain howitzer.
  • Company F, 2nd Infantry: 33 shell, 36 case, and 12 canister for 12-pdr mountain howitzer.

Of course, with no rifles on hand there are no other projectiles to report.  I have posted those pages (here, here, and here) along with the empty page for small arms.  We must assume the small arms were reported on the appropriate cavalry or infantry stores report.

Those are the numbers.  But I’d be remiss to simply throw those out there without at least an attempt to reconcile the differences between this and the previous quarter.

Three companies of the 1st California Cavalry, under Lieutenant-Colonel Oscar M. Brown, appear at Camp Union on the organization report for the Department of the Pacific, for the fall of 1863.  On face, perhaps the 3rd California Infantry left behind a 6-pdr field gun, reported there in the previous quarter, when the regiment marched out to Camp Douglas in Utah Territory.   But I write that without clear documentation – only suggestions.

The second line is more problematic. Fort, or Camp, Lyon was one in a series of posts established as part of ongoing operations against native tribes of northern California.  These operations, from 1858 through 1864, were collectively called the Bald Hills War.  Camp Lyon (as it appears on most records I’ve seen) was on a branch of the Mad River, southeast of Arcata.  However, I am at a loss to link service at that post, at that time in the war(s) to the 2nd California Cavalry.  What I most think is the case is the dittos in the summary are in error.   On the other hand, the 2nd California Infantry had two companies (A and K) at Camp Lyon as late as June 1863.  And it appears that when those companies left, the post was abandoned.  Thus we sort of get onto loose ground with this entry.

The third line is a bit easier to confirm.  Indeed, Company F, 2nd California Infantry was stationed at Fort Wright.  This was another northern California post, near modern day Covelo.  The post was sometimes cited as Camp Wright or even Fort Right.   Captain Charles D. Douglas commanded.

While matching in number to the previous three lines, the changes of organization and location leave a lot of open questions.  In the previous quarter, the 3rd California reported one 12-pdr mountain howitzer at Camp Connor, Idaho Territory and a 6-pdr field gun at Camp Union (mentioned above).  As the Camp Connor howitzer will re-appear on the summaries in December 1863, we can assume it’s omission here was due to a missing report.

But the 3rd California was also associated with at least a couple of 6-pdr field guns and a pair of 12-pdr mountain howitzers reported in the Utah Territories in the first quarter of 1863.  Based on passing mention in some correspondence, it is likely at least one 6-pdr, if not both, remained at Camp Douglas at this time.  But those guns are not mentioned in summaries.  Likewise, while likely one of the mountain howitzers was moved to Camp Connor, the other remains unaccounted for.  All this said, clearly California had more cannon than are represented here in the summaries.

Lastly, for complete coverage of California, allow me to again mention some militia batteries.  The Washington Light Artillery of Napa, Napa County was organized on July 31, 1863, with Captain Nathan McCoombs in command. However, not until February of the next year would Napa’s Washington Light Artillery receive arms and equipment (financed by bond).  Another militia battery, the National Light Artillery, also formed in July 1863, in Santa Clara County.  But the National battery apparently never received equipment.

While none of these California artillery detachments would see action in the great battles of the war, the cannon and their crews served an important role holding down frontier posts and maintaining order in the far west.

 

 

Summary Statement, 3rd Quarter, 1863 – The Colorado Battery

Yes, indeed!  Colorado, a territory at the time, mustered an artillery battery during the Civil War.  Though, like a mountain stream, the story of that battery was not a straight line from start to finish.  For the second quarter, we noted a single entry line for a Colorado battery, reporting from Camp Weld, Colorado Territory.  And for the 3rd Quarter we find two entry lines (and the territory given a proper header):

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One battery, but separate lines for each section:

  • 1st Colorado Battery: With infantry stores at Camp Weld, Colorado Territories.
  • Section of 1st Colorado Battery: At Camp [Fort] Garland, Colorado Territories.

Let’s go back to this battery’s inception.  Operations into the fall of 1861 bore out the need for more troops to thwart any Confederate incursions and maintain order.  However, with pressing needs everywhere on the map, the Territory of Colorado looked to build such a force with resources on hand.  As the 2nd Colorado Infantry formed, one of its companies, under Captain William D. McLain, was detailed for artillery duty.  I’m not exactly sure as to why this decision was made.  At least one secondary source mentions bronze cannon purchased by McLain, and thus the company may have been one of the many “sponsored” units frequently seen early in the war.  At least initially, the battery was still considered a company within the 2nd Colorado Infantry.

But it was not officially sanctioned by the War Department in far away Washington, D.C.  That lead to the battery being disbanded, briefly, before being officially re-mustered in December 1862 with three year enlistments.  The battery appears on some records as McLain’s Independent Battery, but still being recruited and formed.  Aside from McLain, Lieutenants George S. Esyre and Horace W. Baldwin were ranking officers in the battery.

In February 1863, the battery appears, as the 1st Colorado Battery, on organizational listings for the Department of the Missouri, in the District of Colorado, at Fort Lyon, under McLain.  In June, the battery was still at Fort Lyon, but under Lieutenant Baldwin.  It appears McLain and Esyre were recruiting more men to complete the battery.

By July 31, a section under Baldwin was at Camp Weld.  Such implies the battery had cannon, and at least enough men trained to man two guns.  Though on the same organizational listing, McLain appears under the heading of “Recruiting parties within the District.”

Right around that time, McLain and his battery came under a great deal of scrutiny.  In the first place, nobody at the War Department recognized the battery as being formally mustered.  Furthermore, there was no indicated requirement, and thus no authorization, for a battery in the District of Colorado.  Thus, in the bureaucratic minds that determine such things, the battery was not supposed to be in the service.  So they directed it “un-mustered” or at least not brought onto the rolls.

Major-General John Schofield, in the Department of the Missouri, sensing McLain was working without sanction, or at worst hindering the war effort, sent out an order for the captain’s arrest on July 29.  Schofield called specific attention to proper reporting procedures, adding, “Unless officers comply with regulations and orders in making returns they are to be arrested and tried for disobedience of orders.”  At that time, McLain was on duty in Denver at a General Court Martial… not his own, per-say, but as an officer of the court.

With the War Department considering the battery a non-entity and Schofield looking to lock up the commander, the Colorado Battery’s service seemed at an end.  Orders were for the battery to disband.  McLain and some of his officers received dishonorable discharges.  The Rocky Mountain News, out of Denver, ran this short piece on October 14 about the fate of the battery:

RockyMountainNews_Wed_Oct_14_1863_P2_Col2

As is often the case with our news, this has only half the story and was actually a few weeks behind.  At the same time McLain was discharged and the battery thrown out, the War Department issued Special Orders No. 431, dated September 26.  Paragraph 29 specified:

Captain McLain’s Company, 2d Colorado Volunteer Infantry, is, under the special circumstances of the case, hereby recognized as an Independent Battery of Colorado Volunteer Artillery, and is hereby permanently detached from the Infantry organization.  The officers of the Company having been dishonorably discharged the service of the United States, the Governor of the Territory is hereby authorized to make new appointments for the Battery.

We can easily read between the lines in regard to the “special circumstances” as clearly the District of Colorado had need of some artillery.  But it is the last line which left open the path to redemption for McLain and his officers.  In effect, this order disbanded the battery but directed it be reorganized.  And the authority for that reorganization was left to the Territorial Governor, John Evans.  And Evans would turn right back to McLain, Esyre, and Baldwin to lead the battery.

However, paperwork had to be filed and all had to be done at the pace allowed by bureaucracy.  Not until January 12, 1864, was McLain officially restored, the wording being “the disability regarding this officers is removed and is hereby mustered in by virtue of commission issued by his Excellency [Samuel Hitt] Elbert, Acting Governor of Colorado Territory.”  The order was post-dated to December 19, 1863.  (Elbert was the Territorial Secretary at that time, acting as Governor when Evans was away on business. Western history buffs will point out that Evans was later appointed territorial governor in the Grant administration, 1873-4.  But I’m wandering afield here.)

At any rate, this long narrative helps us establish a few administrative “facts” about the battery.  Technically, it was “un-mustered” and being “re-mustered” at the end of September 1863.  However, it did exist, with sections at Camp Weld and Fort Garland.  And give the officers credit, as they did submit their returns (perhaps wary of the wrath of Schofield).  The Ordnance Department received Camp Weld’s report on January 26, 1864.  And that of Fort Garland’s section on November 16, 1863.  Not bad for reports from the frontier!

Although no cannon were indicated on the return, some ammunition was:

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  • Fort Garland Section: 17 shell and 25 case for 12-pdr howitzers.

I’ll leave the determination of field or mountain howitzers open for discussion.  For the following quarter, the battery would report four 12-pdr mountain howitzers on hand.  There’s little doubt those were the same weapons McLain formed the battery with the previous year – be those owned by the territory or donated by subscription (which is perhaps why those howitzers were not reported in September 1863… as the tubes would then not be US government property and thus “off the books”).

No rifled projectiles reported (I’ve posted those pages here, here, and here, for those who desire to look at blank sections).  But there were small arms on hand to report:

0244_3_Snip_COL

  • Fort Garland Section: Twelve Navy revolvers, twenty-eight cavalry sabers, and two horse artillery sabers.

As you can see, the story of this battery offers a lot of twists and turns.  And there will be more to discuss in the next quarter, with temporary officers assigned to the sections.  Furthermore, Lieutenant Baldwin had a little “adventure” of his own along with another brush with military authorities over the regulations!  But we’ll cover those points when the next quarter’s summary is due.

In the mean time, I’ll leave you to ponder this battery which was almost the casualty of a bureaucratic defeat.  This same battery would play a role – an active one – in the defeat of Price at Westport in October 1864.  Rather fortunate that the “special circumstances” were recognized and this battery was left to fight another day!